12.13 Welcome Ryan Li Dahlstrom!

Hello fabulous GIFT community,

My name is Ryan Li Dahlstrom. I go by Ryan Li. I just relocated to Oakland from Minneapolis, MN where I grew up and spent most of my life. While in Minneapolis, I was involved in some fierce and transformational organizing work for safety, community space, and leadership within queer and trans people of color communities.

Most recently, I served as the Director of the Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), a community based organization working for racial, social, and economic justice for trans and gender non-conforming young people in Minnesota. I was also an active member of the GLBT Host Home Program Advisory Council and Headwaters Foundation for Justice Social Change Grant Review Committee. I love cooking, biking, and playing volleyball (I’m looking for a fun co-ed team in the Bay Area, so let me know if you know of any teams that are recruiting).

I enjoy challenging myself and others to think creatively about how we can better share and mobilize resources to support our communities, take care of each other, and advance racial and economic justice. While at TYSN, I was part of creating and developing our first individual donor campaign and growing our grassroots support exponentially. This often intimidating act of asking for money helped us as an organization actively shift our misconceptions about money, who has it, and who gives. We were amazed by how many people gave to us because of their belief in what we were doing and the hope they saw us creating.

I was honored when our first individual donor check came in from my almost 80 year old grandmother who wanted to show her support of me as a transgender person working with young trans people. This gift from my grandmother continues to inspire me to give what I can and share the resources I have, reminds me of how important it is to show up for each other, and motivates me to keep mobilizing resources for our collective liberation.

I am thrilled to join the great team of folks at GIFT as the new Training and Network Coordinator. I’m looking forward to working with all of you to continue strengthening our movement building and leadership development work through our training programs, network of trainers, and internship program. I will be coordinating our monthly brown bag discussions and webinars as well. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more about our programs, identify ways for us to collaborate, or get more involved! Email me at ryanliATgrassrootsfundraising.org.

Let’s keep building and growing together in the spirit of justice and collective liberation,

Ryan Li